Saying Goodbye To Japan

Goodbye Japan

I count this as one of my teaching successes. One of my Japanese students is a budding illustrator, and one of her characters is Gachico. Last year when she started as a first year student, Gachico’s speech bubble read, “I don’t like English.” I teased her about it a little bit, and eventually we started chatting more and more outside of class. This year when she turned in her English folder at the end of term, Gachico’s old remarks had been erased, and this was written instead…..

The Ministry Of Sickness And Death: An unpublished chapter of Tokyo Vice

Greenpeace action against Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) at Chropyne, Czech Republic, 2001.

How could it be that the people closest to the waste dumps weren’t getting more exposure to the deadly dioxin? The figures seemed very low any way I looked at it.

On Modern Slavery: Thoughts on Human Trafficking

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[Not only do I find it personally abhorrent, but intellectually, it] is a terrible exploit of labor that robs women, men and children of their freedom and dignity. In fact, human trafficking is too polite of a term. “Modern slavery” is a more apt expression. Perhaps if portrayed by this term, more people would share my vehemence to combat it.

How the Japanese Went Under, and Stayed There

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Uchida’s speciality is throwing politics and philosophy, Aikido and women’s issues, the income gap and Japan’s slide into poverty, plus sex and relationship advice – all in one blender and made it palatable.

The UN Hates Japan’s Hate Speech Indifference; LDP May Love Chance To Shut Up Protesters

Japanese bookstores are rife with anti-Korean magazines and periodicals that asperse Korea and ethnic Koreans living in Japan. This is a recent round-up of slurs and hate filled prose, including off-colour remarks from a Japanophile white man in Texas---Texas Daddy. (テキサスオヤジ)

The UN committee does not give ratings to countries on well they are doing in “eliminating racial discrimination” but the essence of third improvement order to Japan was: “you’re failing miserably. Do something.”

Abysmal Man: A Charisma Man in Japan For Our Generation

The expat in Japan anti-hero updated for modern times. This guy will never leave. Dude, the party is over. Heartland closed in January this year. Maybe it's time to to move on?

So we reimagined Charisma Man, after way too many years in Japan—without every learning the language or blending into the culture. Meet “Abysmal Man”–an anti-hero for a new era. Dripping with charm and ex-pat existential ennui, he may be waiting somewhere in Japan at a bar stool near you.

AKB48: A Microcosm Of Dark Corporate Japan. Sexual exploitation of child labor is sooo cute. (Book review)

AKB48 aren't just a band of  teenage girls creepily sexually exploited by a money-grubbing management team that includes an ex-yakuza associate, they're also symbols of how badly workers in Japan get screwed over--in every way.

Shohei Sakakura has linked Black Companies with the nation’s most famous and lucrative girl group AKB 48. “AKB48 and the Black Companies,” and his indictments make Walmart look like a towering monument to worker’s rights. Yasushi Akimoto was a Zegen with a vision – having never been popular in high school himself, he recognized the deep sexual frustration and vast need for sexual fantasies festering in the educated and dateless Japanese male.

Put Tokyo in your pocket: Lonely Planet’s Pocket Tokyo is a great guide book

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Tokyo is far to big to cover in one short trip, but Lonely Planet’s travel guide to Tokyo shows you the places worth hitting.

Over-Educated, Under-Paid and Most Likely Single: Women in Japan’s Academia

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Japanese academia is crowded with smart, talented women, according to the book Kogakureki Jyoshino Hinkon, but it seems very few in this country have any idea how to welcome or deploy them. All this, and yet in their book the three stress that higher education more often hinders instead of helps the modern Japanese woman attain personal and professional happiness.

What we talk about when we talk about love & sex in Japan

The Japanese language is rich in terms for love and sex--which are definitely not the same thing here.

*浮気 (Uwaki) –1) to describe someone who can romantically love many people 2) infidelity; an affair 3) being in love with in someone other than your partner 4) (old usage) cheerful and gorgeous